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Book Review

Book Cover

The Alfred Hitchcock Story (Hardback)


Author: Ken Mogg
Titan Books
RRP: £24.99, US $35.00, Cdn $40.00
ISBN-13: 978 1 84576 708 2
Available 22 August 2008

Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock (13 August 1899 - 29 April 1980) was an iconic British filmmaker and producer. Over his career, he pioneered numerous techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres. He directed more than fifty feature films, in a career spanning six decades, from the silent era, through the invention of sound films, and into the era of colour film production. Today, nearly 30 years after his death, he continues to be one of the best-known filmmakers of all time...

The Alfred Hitchcock Story offers a comprehensively illustrated look at the career of one of the best moviemakers of all time. What we have here is a film-by-film guide to 'the Master' and his work, from the early silent days of The Lodger, through to his classic British period of The 39 Steps, to the Hollywood success of Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho and beyond.

The book is an updated version of the original release that was published in August 1999 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth. This new edition is released to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Vertigo, although I'm not sure what, if any, additional content is included here. I suspect that, as the original version of the book has long been out of print, that there is no new material here other than the new 'Author's Note'.

Packed with hundreds of stills and posters, with many rare or unseen images, and with additional features including the director's famous cameos, this is a pretty comprehensive retrospective work that any Hitchcock fan will find of interest.

The book is split into eras, which detail his work in minute detail, offering plenty of snippets of information in which even the most hard-core fan will find something new of interest. So we have: The Early Years (1899-1933); Classic British Movies (1934-1939); Hollywood (1940-1950); The Golden Years (1951-1964); and Languishing (1965-1980).

Of course it goes without saying that if you already own this book from its original release there's no point in picking it up again. But if you missed out the first time then this is well worth adding to your bookshelf.


Pete Boomer

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